The Eastern Cape Warriors restricted the Highveld Lions to 153 for seven, despite a quickfire half-century by opener Alviro Petersen, in their Standard Bank Pro20 match at Buffalo Park in East London on Wednesday.
Petersen raced to a 37-ball half-century, with 10 fours, before the Warriors slow bowlers came on and regained a measure of control.
Paceman Lonwabo Tsotsobe produced a fine new-ball spell, having Blake Snijman (2) well-caught by a diving Craig Thyssen at backward point, but Petersen and Neil McKenzie punished the other seamers as they added 68 off 63 balls for the second wicket.
But the pair began to get bogged down against the spinners and Petersen, who went on to score 63 off 54 balls, miscued a drive off Arno Jacobs to long-on.
Warriors captain Zander de Bruyn rotated spinners Jacobs, Johan Botha and Corbyn Dolley and it ensured the Lions batsmen failed to get momentum, while the return of Tsotsobe for an over served to remove key man McKenzie, bowled for 21.
The Lions were indebted to the late hitting of Dumisa Makalima, who raced to 34 not out off just 16 balls, with four fours and a six, for a total which is defendable, if modest, on a placid, slow pitch.
For all the good work of spinners Jacobs (4-0-31-2), Botha (4-0-30-1) and Dolley (4-0-36-1), who took four for 97 in their combined 12 overs, it was Tsotsobe who took the bowling honours with excellent figures of two for 23 in his four overs.